Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park, a massive 14,000 square kilometers, was our next destination, home of thousands of elephants as well as other indigenous wildlife. One would think that with tens of thousands of elephants we would run into them all the time, anticipating tons of creative, spectacular photo opportunities…wrong. During the entire two days we were there, we saw a small herd of 4 or 5, miniscule in size, making their way across a single swath of land. It seemed ironic that the massive, enormous elephant was impossible to spot but the tiny birds and small duikers were readily spotted everywhere.  
The park is so large that there are a lot of different areas included. We camped on an outside edge of it – still protected for the animals but open for humans. There was a large water hole down from our campsite with a great blind for sitting in to observe the animals. Although it was the rainy season with water holes available all over the park, we still had quite a few animals that came down to drink and eat, giving us the opportunity to observe them easily. Jeff spent one afternoon in camp, declining to sit on the jeep for another 3 hour jaunt into the jungle, searching for elusive animals. He was rewarded with the sounds of something making its way through the jungle, giving him time to race to the blind for a view of some elephants making their way through the underbrush. 

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